Thursday, 31 March 2011

My Creative Space

I haven't had much sewing quality time lately and whenever I am in there, there is a 3 year old wanting desperately to help ...

She is a Virgo, and she likes to organize things. Between her and the cat, Natasha, who likes to pull the pins out with her teeth, it is any wonder I get any sewing done at all !

If you want to see some more craftiness, head on over to Kootoyoo and include your link in her player list

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Circa Nocturna 2011

On the 12th of March I found myself at the Circa Nocturna 2011 Fashion Parade with a few hours to myself minus baby. What bliss! I was on the VIP list as a result of my blog entry about last years parade and we had reserved seats and even a free drink! It has taken me ages to complete this blog entry. The photo's, the text, the links and of course the 5 week old baby ...

Had to include this picture of an ex-student modeling John and Betty

The fashion parade was professionally run with lots of new designers that I hadn't seen before. There were about 20 photographers at the end of the runway, but we chose to sit about a third of the way down the runway. I didn't fancy standing up for an extended period of time.

There were lots of lovely clothes, but here are some of the designers that I am still dreaming about ... in no particular order.

Petticoats and Gallantry

There wasn't much on their web site before the parade, but "wow", their collection stood out as being well thought out and refined. The styles are all sizes friendly and looked well made, there were no threads hanging down, as there was on another collection.

A good choice of contrasting fabrics and attention to detail.

They put a lot of effort into styling their clothes and make-up, with head pieces and shoes all matching. Don't you hate it when a model is wearing something lovely, but their shoes are falling to bits?

Head on over to their web site where they are updating it with their creations from the fashion parade. There is also a youtube clip on their range at the parade.

Clockwork Butterfly

These guys did not disappoint, it was a very "steampunk" collection.

Again, a great deal of attention to detail from top to toe.

With many of the accessories being "one of a kind" pieces that you would probably pay a small fortune for.

The menswear looked liked it belonged to the model, unlike another collection where the jackets and waistcoats were ill fitting.

It is a bit disappointing that their web site does not have prices listed, so I have no real idea as to how much one of these gorgeous pieces would cost :(

There is a youtube clip of their parade where you can see the steampunk gorgeousness!

Michael V Couture

When it was announced that the Michael V collection was his first runway collection, I was expecting something amateurish. In reality the collection was breathtaking and left me feeling both quite excited and disappointed that I wouldn't be able to do any of it any justice with my post-baby body .. but give me time!

All of Michael V's creations were gorgeous, but one that caught my eye was the burgundy pencil skirt number. I immediately thought that this outfit might have been inspired by Rachel from Bladerunner. The hair and the clothes worked perfectly.

I loved the subtle alternative statements in the headpieces. Most of Michael's outfits had fabulous head pieces, showing his flexibility as as designer.

The last outfit was this black strapless number. At the end of the runway stood this goddess with the most amazing shapely figure (unlike most of the Loreal Fashion Festival models). Her sexy walk up and down the runway was most memorable! Check out the youtube clip of his clothes.

Edit: A reader tells me that Michael V's head pieces were designed by Milly Pilly Designs

Rebecca Cobbing Couture

This collection was another well rounded collection with high attention to detail.

The zombie make-up on this model was well suited to the dress she was sporting and what you would expect at an alternative fashion event. You had to appreciate the embroidery work on the "heart" up close, intricate and well finished.

Like something from Marie Antoinette's wardrobe, the headpiece for this outfit was grand.

My favourite from Rebecca's collection was this silver number with hand embroidery on it. Breathtaking.

Rebecca Cobbing parade on Youtube

It's interesting to note that when this event first happened, the type of clothing was predominately "club-wear". This year there was a definate avante-guard feel to the collections and not many "club-wear" focused labels.

It was sad to hear that this will be the last parade of it's kind by these organisers. I know that a lot of the manpower that goes into this show is voluntary. I would suspect that you can only organise these events so many times before it becomes soul sucking.

I thank the organisers for their energy in putting this event together and hope that they reconsider! Check out the Circa Nocturna facebook page and "like" them to show that you appreciate their efforts.

There were lots of photographers there that night and a quick search reveals that many have put their collections online for you to enjoy:

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My Creative Space ...

In my creative space this week I've been busy trying to make Victoria a Dinosaur tail.

After going to Dinosaurs Alive she has been totally "in the zone" stomping up and down the house. The cardboard tail that Dadda made her has been totally worn out (and painted). So I took a pattern off her cardboard tail.

We started with some polar fleece ..

and now I am learning how to stuff things with Polyfill ... I have a great admiration for anyone that makes soft toys!

Of course this crafty project is being done in between baby feeds, burps and general comforting actions .. here's hoping I will get it finished soonish!

Want to see what some other crafty people are upto? Head over to Kootoyoo ..

You Sew, Girl - the book!

As part of my travels I paid a visit to Nicole Mallalieu's new shop/workspace this week and was thrilled to have the chance to flip through her new book published by Harper Collins.

She has written a whole book, not a few piddly little chapters like I wrote a while back ...

It is jam packed with tips, hints and lots of projects. One project that caught my eye was the baby hat project which looks so cute!

I am very much looking forward to getting my hot little hands on a copy as soon as I can! Keep an eye on her blog for details of where to purchase the book.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


From my point of view, expressing breastmilk regularly means freedom. It means that I can go to a movie or shopping and leave Nicholas with someone else so that I can regain my "headspace".

But for Victoria it was an opportunity for the "big sister" to do something (almost) completely by herself. When I showed her the small bottle sitting in the fridge yesterday, she was really excited and all day she kept on telling me that she was going to give Nicholas a bottle of "Oobie" milk for dinner.

So I did the same trick that I did with Victoria, held him close and quickly substituted my nipple for the nipple of the bottle. It took him a few minutes to adjust, but then he guzzled down the bottle (60ml).

I am looking forward to a "date night" soon ... there are too many good movies out there at the moment. What do you do to regain your "headspace"?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

More Baby Wraps

It took me ages to finish these ... some more baby wraps for Nicholas. I like wraps nice and big, so I take a piece of fabric 110cm x 110cm and then trim off the selvedge and square it up. I tend to use a rotary cutter, easier to get nice and crisp lines.

I bought the fabric from Spotlight years ago and put it aside for a present or special occasion. I used Birch poly cotton bias to go around the edges.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Dear Jane Quilt

Green Fairy Quilts linked to this, and I have fallen in love with the idea of this quilt ...

via Green Fairy

The detail in both the patchwork and quilting is breathtaking.

via Green Fairy

I can imagine that this quilt would be a long term project and definately a labour of love.

via That Quilt

I love the rainbow version, however, I can imagine it in either a monochromatic palette or white/grey/black palette.

You can buy the book here and here is the blog with instructions (But if you love it, buy the book and support your fellow crafter!).

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My Creative space ...

My creative space has involved lots of sleep this week ..

.. but when I had a moment, I finished off the edges to this robot flannel wrap. I'm getting a bit tired of the white and blue wraps that we have.

Are you playing along this week?

Friday, 11 March 2011

Etsy Friday Finds

I've been doing lots of wishlists this week in my blog, mainly because I have a birthday right around the corner ...

I have a dream that my new sewing room will have something like this in it, except much bigger!! Thread holder by surveyorscorner.

I have an idea to make my daughter a "somewhere over the rainbow" pillow for her bed with the rainbow being embroidered using the same technique as her new dooner cover, inspired by this post. But first I need some rainbow colours ... this looks mighty tempting, 100 balls of rainbow coloured perele embroidery thread by cottonheart

I love Dresden Plate quilts and how they are both colourful and also traditional at the same time. Sweet little feet are destashing and have a Dresden plate quilting template up for grabs.

I've been stumbling along using my old embroidery scissors for applique .. these are definately on the wishlist as well, Pelican Applique Bill Scissors by MoonStarStore.

And of course a lovely quilt ladder by cindylouquilts to store all my creations!

What do you have on your sewing wishlist? Are there any new gadgets out there that I should know about?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Circa Nocturna

I'm off on Saturday night to Circa Nocturna, the alternative fashion parade as part of the Fashion Festival that we have in Melbourne at the moment. I was chuffed to be sent a VIP pass for the parade because I blogged about them last year! I am unsure how I am going to manage the feeding of Nicholas, but we will work something out!

In particular, I am looking foward to seeing a few new designers that I have not had the pleasure of seeing up close before. Clockwork Butterfly, is a steampunk inspired label offering structured garments for the more refined gentleman or lady. I haven't seen their work up close, but there has been a lot of discussion about their range. Given that more and more of my friends are embracing the steampunk aesthetic, it will be interesting to see if their garments are hardwearing and affordable.

I have been following Petticoats and Gallantry on facebook. Again, they have structured clothing appealing to the steampunk crowd. They don't seem to have much on their web site at the moment, but I am hoping that they reveal their new range on Saturday night. Bezerk are down again from Queensland. I have lots of their T-shirts and skirts and they always wash up well and look good.

It has been lovely to watch the alternative designers develop and flourish into fashion labels over the last few years. Moving from making a few items to releasing a collection every 6 months, and refined ones as well.

Monochromatic Sampler: Block Eight

I've had this entry sitting in my drafts folder for a few weeks now, just waiting the finishing touches. I am anxious to get this quilt and the blogging associated with it finished as young Nicholas is becoming more and more aware of what is going on around him.

The construction of the Pinwheel block uses a similar technique to the Diamonds block. Create a square and rotate it by putting triangle sides on it.

Create the Pinwheel

  • Two squares 3 1/2 inches square in White
  • Two squares 3 1/2 inches square in Black

Pin both squares together and rule a line from opposite corners of the squares.
Use this line as a guide to run a stitch down the squares either side of the line. Seam allowance 1/4 inch.

Cut down the centre of the stitching and then open and press with your iron. You should have four squares ready to go!

From each square, you should get two blades on your pinwheel. Sew blocks together carefully making sure that you line up your seams.

If your seams match up correctly, you should have a nicely lined up pinwheel measuring 6 inches squared.

  • Two squares measuring 4 1/2 inches square in White
Cut the squares in half and attach two to the sides of the pinwheel. Trim and then attach the last two triangles.

You should have a nice sexy pinwheel ready for a border! Trim your pinwheel border leaving at least 1/4 inch between the edge of the pinwheel and the outside of your square. My finished square finished at 8 3/4 inches squared.

Cut a 2 1/2 inch width strip and attach a border to your pinwheel.

Voila, another finished block!

I haven't given much thought yet as to how I might quilt this piece, any ideas? I'd love to try freehand quilting like Kellie does, but I am not that confident!

Are you making these blocks as well? Add your pictures to the Flickr group.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


The thing that I love about books is the tactile experience of flipping through them, using post-it notes to mark what projects I want to work on and initial thoughts, and then of course putting them on a shelf to access at a later date.

At this point, I can't imagine that an eBook would provide me with a similar endorphine rush that a hard copy print book would have, although if some of the pattern books were electronic I could print off the pages that I needed and never have to worry about harming my poor book!

Here are few books on my wishlist .. here's hoping that a few might travel my way in early April ...

I am quite excited by the prospect of Sarah Fielke's new book Quilting from little things. I'd love an autographed copy (hint, hint), but you need to order from her directly ... Of course Sarah is co-author of Material Obsession a great range of patchwork quilting books.

I am not too crash hot for Amy Butler's textile range (not enough skulls), but her designs are quite good and I am going through a bit of a bag stage .. Style Stitches looks like it could be worthwhile.

Quilting Line and Colour looks like it could be an interesting read. I love patchwork and quilting that defy the "traditional" styles and the cover of this book reminds me of Oh Franssons Tokyo Subway quilt.

I've flipped through this one a few times, The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. One of the traits that I want to pass onto Victoria and Nicholas is the creative trait. Making things from nothing.

So which crafty books are on your wishlist? I am sure that there are many out there that you could recommend, have you purchased any of the books listed and were they worthwhile? What about hardcopy vs. eBooks? Do you feel the way I do about hardcopy books?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Dr. Seuss Day

While trawling through the various blogs that I subscribe to, I noticed that lots of crafters were celebrating Dr. Seuss Day on Wednesday 2nd March; Dr. Seuss wall posters, Dr. Seuss Hats, Green Eggs Cookies.

But the day came with a reminder of a school production that I worked on a few years back, Circa 2005, "Seussical the Musical".

I made the principal costume (everything except the hat) for the production. The costume consisted of a fully lined "tails jacket" that had wire work on the tail and cuffs and matching pants. A floppy bow tie with wire work, fingerless gloves and cumberband. The jacket was fully lined, but the challenge was certainly in sewing in conduits for the wire work.

The only component that I didn't make was the white top underneath the jacket. The costume had to survive 8 performances throughout two weeks at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. I am not sure what happened to the costume, but the triumph in making it was worthwhile.

I certainly miss the involvement of being involved at the hands on level in a production, costuming has been in my blood for so long.

Australian Napoleonic Society Dinner at Josephines, Mt. Martha, 2007

I made my hubby sit through all 6 hours of Pride and Predudice while I made his jacket and pants.

2002 Australian Costumiers Guild Ball, winning entry "7 Deadly Sins".
The conceptual design of each character was the brain child of Karen.

I made my Black Satin corset, Crinoline and hand sewed every feather onto the bodice. I am sure that someone has better photo's somewhere out there, I should really hunt them up!

There was a point in my life when I always had a costume "on the go" and Andreas and I were always attending events and clubs that encouraged costuming, but the amount of time that I can now dedicate to costuming is dramatically decreasing with each child I have! I guess now I am turning my creativity towards things that are more practical in my life.

What about you?
Were you doing the same "craft" 10 years ago?
Or has your craft evolved and taken on another form over the years?